The Champions League, as supporters know it, is set to undergo a controversial makeover despite incredible uproar among fanbases and domestic leagues. The original proposal for the revamped format that starts in the 2024/25 season would have given teams like Arsenal – clubs that failed to qualify for European competitions via their league finish.
It would have been a potential backdoor into the Champions League thanks to UEFA’s club coefficient leaderboards, which rank sides based on performances in UEFA competitions over the previous five seasons. Many cast their doubt over the plans, with the collapse of the European Super League just a year prior.
However, Europe’s leading sides and UEFA have come together and are set to agree on a comprise, according to The Athletic. The report claims that in Madrid on Monday, senior representatives from UEFA met at a meeting of the European Club Association’s (ECA) board and heard proposals to implement a diluted version of the original plan.
The Athletic claim that the general consensus was that now only one season would be taken into account, though, of course, with historical records still in mind. The report adds that it plans to also use UEFA’s country coefficient, as opposed to club ranking — which is currently in place to allocate places in its competitions to its member associations.
By using the country coefficient — and reducing the historic timeframe from five years to one — the new plan is believed to be more in line with the rewards are earned season-by-season narrative. The Athletic conclude by stating that the ECA has given the green light to countries housing a maximum of five places in the Champions League, so it remains to be seen whether Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs could all qualify in the same season.
The final plan is set to be discussed over two additional meetings on Tuesday before UEFA members congregate in Vienna on Wednesday for their annual congress.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin would reportedly ‘love’ to announce that a deal for the post-2024 Champions League format has been finalised on Wednesday. However, The Athletic conclude that it may wait until the end of May.